Community First Responders (CFRs) are NSW Ambulance volunteers. The CFRs respond when called out by the ambulance control centre for any triple zero ambulance call on Dangar Island.
In the case of a medical emergency call:
The ambulance control centre will ask you a series of standard questions, including your address and the nearest cross street. Here is what you should say:
"I am calling from Dangar Island. This is a water access only property."
"My location is... and the nearest street is ... "
The CFRs will locate you and can guide the paramedics to you. If it's night time when you call, please put your lights on to help them, if you can.
Established by Ambulance NSW to enable quicker responses to emergencies on the island, the CFR Unit started duty on 1 July 2014, operating a 24/7 on-call volunteer roster. The CFRs are called out at the same time an ambulance and other emergency services are being dispatched - they help paramedics get to you faster, as well as providing first line medical assistance before they arrive. CFRs are trained by NSW Ambulance, work within NSW Ambulance protocols, attend monthly training, and are re-certified annually. Additionally, because CFRs are part of NSW Ambulance, your confidentiality is protected just as it is in a hospital or GP clinic. CFRs cannot discuss anything related to patient care.
As part of their equipment, the CFRs carry:
• Airway equipment
• A range of medications
• Splints and dressings
• Spinal collars
• Burns kit
• Obstetrics kit
• Transport equipment (stretcher, carry chair)
NSW Ambulance has provided an ambulance vehicle, known as MERV, which is used for transporting patients on the island. Patients are then transported by police boat to Brooklyn, with the paramedics, and by road ambulance to hospital.
Click here to download a printable brochure about the Community First Responders which you might want to put on your fridge or near your phone.
Ambulance services are not free unless you are a pensioner or concession card holder. Most people with health insurance already have ambulance cover, but if you are not covered, think about taking out a cheaper policy that covers you for 'ambulance only'